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Transfer Student Housing: Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of our most frequently asked questions. If you find that your question has not been answered, please Contact Us.

The staff in Housing & Residence Life's Assignments Office are responsible for making all of the on-Grounds housing assignments. They are here to help you if you have any questions regarding the assignments process. The office is located at Gibbons House, in the Alderman Road Area.

1. How do I apply for housing?

Incoming Transfer Stidents should complete the online Transfer Student Housing Application after May 1st (you will need to pay your Admissions deposit and activate your University computing ID before attempting to access the application) and before June 1st. Please be sure to read the application carefully before submitting it.

2. Why should I live in on-Grounds housing?

The reasons students share with us for choosing to remain in on-Grounds housing include:
  • Location: Closer to classes, bus stops, libraries, and food service outlets.
  • Flexibility: You can change rooms, if necessary - a luxury you won't have off-Grounds.
  • Services: Maintenance staff take care of problems and are available 24/7 for emergency repairs. Housekeeping staff clean the common areas. Resident Staff members support your personal and academic success.
  • Safety and Security: You live exclusively with other students in an environment where your safety is a priority. Lock and access card systems govern access to the buildings. Lock cores are changed whenever keys are lost. The University has to meet high standards for fire safety and our facilities are inspected annually by the State Fire Marshal's Office.

3. Which is a better value, living on or off Grounds?

Due to the wide variety of options both on and off Grounds, it is hard to say definitively which one is less expensive. When comparing on-Grounds to off-Grounds housing there are a few things to keep in mind that will often show on-Grounds to be the better value:
  • On-Grounds contracts are for 9 months, meaning you only have a contract for the time you are in school. Off-Grounds contracts are almost always 12-month, so more than likely you will be paying for 3 months you don't need, or have to deal with the sublet process in a difficult market.
  • On-Grounds housing includes all utilities except telephone and cable TV, so you don't have a separate bill for electricity, water, heat, Internet, etc. Some off-Grounds accommodations require the tenant to pay some or all utilities; this can drastically increase your cost.
  • On-Grounds housing requires no damage deposit. Some off-Grounds locations may charge as much as one month's rent as a deposit.
  • All on-Grounds apartments are fully furnished in both the living room and bedrooms, whereas most off-Grounds accommodations come unfurnished.

4. How is my assignment made?

A computer-generated random selection process held after the application deadline determines your order of assignment. Your assignment is then generated based on availability and your order of preference for each of the residential areas.

5. May I request a roommate?

You can write in a roommate request in the "Special Requests / Comments" field on your Housing Application. Roommate requests must be mutual in order to be honored. We try to place requested roommates together, but this may not be possible due to limited space availability.

6. How can I receive assistance from the University if I have a disability or medical condition?

If you need special housing accommodations due to a disability or medical condition, you will need to submit a Disability Related Needs Request and appropriate documentation to the Student Disability Access Center (SDAC) by June 1, 2017. If you have any questions, please contact SDAC at 434-243-5180 or send an email to

7. What is the procedure for bringing a service animal to the University?

Students must request the University's permission to allow the presence of a service animal on University property, and permission will be granted only as an accommodation for a documented disability. Please see the Guidelines for Service Animals. For more information, contact SDAC at 434-243-5180 or send an email to

8. When do I find out where I'll live?

As long as you submit your application by the deadline, you will receive your room assignment (and roommate information, if applicable) in early June.

9. What to bring / not to bring

We have put together this list of suggestions to help you make some informed decisions about what to bring to UVA. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list; it is only meant to help you decide what to pack and what to leave at home. Ask us about anything questionable that you are considering bringing with you.

9.1. What should I bring?

  • computer equipment with wireless network card (not all rooms have Ethernet ports)
  • cell phone (AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon recommended)
  • 1 microwave and 1 small refrigerator per bedroom, or 1 combination microfridge unit per bedroom ¹
  • 1 single-serve coffee maker such as Keurig per room
  • TV and HDMI cable for connecting computer (the University offers Internet-based local broadcast TV content but no traditional coaxial-based cable TV service)
  • lamp(s) - see restrictions below
  • flashlight
  • alarm clock
  • power strip, with built-in circuit breaker and on/off switch
  • hair dryer
  • hangers
  • stereo or iPod dock, with speakers suitable to living space
  • pillows, bed linens, towels, etc.
  • fan, maybe even two (available from the UVA Bookstore)
  • bicycle (with a good lock)

¹ Students may rent a microfridge from the UVA Bookstore, or bring your own combination microfridge, or bring your own separate microwave (1200 watts or less) and refrigerator (5.0 cubic ft. or less) with a surge supressor (also available from the Bookstore).

9.2. What should I not bring?

  • pets - only small non-lethal fish are allowed (Aquariums must be no larger than 20 gallons)
  • any halogen lamp - torchiere, desk, spotlights, etc.
  • any lamp with a plastic shade (see examples)
  • extension cords and multi-plug adapters
  • air-conditioner (unless pre-approved for medical reasons in permitted buildings - they are not permitted in McCormick Road or Alderman Road buildings)
  • oversized refrigerators
  • cooking appliances, including George Foreman type grills
  • hotplates
  • toasters and toaster ovens
  • Fry Baby or any other deep fryer
  • wireless Internet routers or range extenders
  • devices that operate on 2.4 GHz and 5.1 GHz frequencies such cordless telephones, microwaves, baby monitors, wireless speakers, and wireless (not Bluetooth) headsets. Devices that operate on 900 MHz and 5.8 GHz frequencies are permitted.
  • waterbeds
  • lofts
  • cinder blocks to raise beds
  • incense & candles - burning of these items is strictly prohibited
  • space heaters
  • firearms & ammunition, including BB Guns, paintball guns, bows, etc.
  • firecrackers or explosives of any type
  • alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs
² lofts are not allowed in any area except the Lawn and Range.

10. What kind of decorations are allowed for my room?

For specific policies related to decorations and fire safety, please see our page dedicated to Fire Safety Policies.